Monday, January 2, 2018
Happy New Year. Welcome to 2018.
You decided to have an experience with Tetl and the mushrooms. You decided to do some, but not too much yard work in the desert. Ami raised her glass of champagne, as she does every year, and said we were entering the new paradigm, that our entire lives before were preparation for this, that the old ways would be shed and the new would come.
I brought four servings of Chipotle to Tetl’s house in case we got hungry. It’s a place that hates its employees enough to make them work on a day like this for assholes like me.
I took a little less than 1.5g of the penis envy Papa Smurf gave me, of the penis envy I gave Tetl in the forest. Tetl took 1.0, and then some unknown-to-me amount to catch up once we started blasting off.
It was really beautiful to make love with him before we started our journey. We prepped a small nesting area on the floor (he even picked up an armchair floor pillow for the occasion). I had my sleeping bag, the tapestry Tetl gave me. He played a psybient/psychill mix that was way too intense to be called chill. On the floor we held hands, his face close to mine. I could hear the hum of the earth coming from the floor of his room, near the base of the shrine.
My legs began to tremble and wiggle beyond my control.
“Oh my god,” I said. “It’s happening.”
“I’m taking off.” I motioned to my legs.
He let out a tender laugh. “They’re kinda just doing whatever they wanna do, huh?”
“Yeah, they’re just moving.”
“It’s beautiful to move.”
It was beautiful while it lasted together, but I soon had to separate myself to go on my own journey.
I locked myself in the bathroom and sat on the toilet. I immediately crouched over, grabbing hold of the ratty teal towel I had brought to cover my naked body on the way to the restroom. My hair fell all over my legs and a soft, sharp, acute sadness took over. It felt like it was the place I needed to be, a place deep inside that was coming to the surface.
The quality of my vision began to change. I watched as my tears beaded down my knees and all my split-end hairs began to vibrate. I heard watery murmurs of the space aliens that were trying to communicate with me, the computer keyboard sounds of their crunch and static transmission reaching my ears.
“I can hear you,” I said, my feet squished together and wriggling over each other, each with a mind of its own. “I can hear you. I grew my hair out so I could hear you.” I looked at the fur of my unshaven legs, the thighs and calves of my body looking gooier and squishier than I remember. The aliens continued speaking to me through trickles and knocks in the pipes.
“I can hear you,” I repeated a little louder. “What is it you’re trying to tell me?” The sounds continued their insistence, and as I paused to listen, a lot of it began to make sense.
I was one of them.
“I came here to do a job,” I said. “I chose to be here. I chose this experience. I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew it the whole time. There was never any question about it… though it’s okay to have questions. There was never any doubt.”
I hugged myself and felt my body and looked at the shower curtain, rocking back and forth.
“You always knew what you were doing. You always knew exactly. And your mom knew, too. That’s why you chose her.”
For a long time, before all these words came up, I was crouched over on the porcelain seat, gripping onto the towel and watching the liquid beads of my eyes roll down my legs.
I was in pain. I was in such pain. I felt so small. I felt I couldn’t move. But I never felt alone.
“Don’t skip this part,” I whispered, clutching my legs tighter. “Don’t skip it, no. Don’t skip this part. It’s important, please don’t skip it.” I felt like a chicken caught in a cage, crushed by my fellow people, taken prisoner for my eggs.
“It’s important to understand,” I whispered as the unrelenting pain continued. “Please don’t skip it.”
I heard talking of faraway voices. “I think she’s had enough,” one said. Another murmured in disagreement.
I continued to feel smaller, to cry more and more from my heart. I didn’t worry about anyone outside, about Tetl’s mother or Tetl himself. I knew things were different now, the work I was doing, that they would understand. Maybe this is what they call a shaman’s work.
“Really, I think she’s had enough,” the voice insisted.
I was stuck, unable to move, shoulders bowed over.
“Don’t skip this.”
My feet continued to wriggle beneath me as I called out for my mother. The quality of my vision was completely altered, my split-end hairs still floating around me. I thought about how I was stuck in a place with these perceptual walls, a place where I was imprisoned in my own mind, stuck in another dimension. It didn’t matter if anyone saw me, they couldn’t break through the walls to break me out. I wondered if my mother lived her life like this, and if this was the work she chose with no path to turn back.
I started to really understand the sentiment, “Meet people where they are.” Some people are near unreachable, and if you can get through, to show them what you have to offer is love and present witness, that’s more than what anyone else has been able to give them.
“I can hear you,” I whispered. “I can hear you.”
I bolted up and looked at the door. The light of the double-vanity room was bright, the door of the cabinet below broken off from some time before. I sat in the darkness with my own door cracked ajar, the toilet and shower separated from the restroom entrance and sinks.
“What was all that stuff about, anyway?” I asked, incredulous. “What was that about?” I wiped my tears. I thought about Trump, about scare tactics, about systems of dominance and oppression, about chemicals, attempts to poison and control. The empty container of Clorox wipes stared at me from the Cardenas-market-bag-lined trashcan next to me.
“All of that was bullshit.”
I put my head back down and looked at the baseboard.
“Do you remember Tazohta, Ami, and Quinmomacaz? They were good friends to you. They always knew, too. It’s a good thing you spent so much time with them. And Ami was right about the new world, the new vibration. I don’t think she really knew what she was describing when she decided to bring in the new paradigm. Well here it is. This is just the way it is now.”
I looked again beyond the crack of the door, to the locked door of the double-vanity room when I heard a knock.
“You can come in,” I said. “I know it might seem a little scary, but its not. It’s painful, but it’s not scary. You can come in.”
No one came in through the door.
“Please come in,” I repeated.
The door remained closed. I guess I needed to be alone right now.
I thought about Tetl, about Tazohta and how he would tease me about everything.
“It’s important,” I said. “Of course it’s important. There was never any need for explanation. I never had to explain myself. It’s just where I was at the time. All the violence and control and the pain. It’s the way we did things then. It’s where we were.”
I squeezed the squishy parts of my stomach, of my sides, arms, and legs. I felt goosebumps, the little hairs standing up and the realization my feet were cold on the stone tile floor.
“This is where I am.”
The thoughts of my human life and the old ways came rushing forward. “Of course I was a water engineer,” I said. “Of course I was vegan. Of course I liked psychics and crystals and all that shit. It all makes complete sense. How could it have been any different?”
I looked at the shower curtain.
“I was prepared for this.”
There were gurgles and knocks of agreement.
I finally got up from the toilet, took several necessary wipes, and flushed what was no longer needed. I crawled into a ball on the bathroom floor, teal towel pulled over me.
“It was hard back then,” I said. “It was so hard. But that’s because we did things differently. We don’t have to do them that way anymore. It’s different now.”
I curled up even tighter, the tiny brown bath mat not enough to keep my body from feeling the chill of the stone.
“I was never alone.”
I pulled the edge of the towel closer.
“And I don’t have to do this alone.”
I sat up and reached my hand for the cracked door. I observed my arm, as if somebody else’s limb was outstretched and opening the door for me. More light poured in. I saw the chemical cleaning supplies under the sink and the Clorox container in the Cardenas-bag trash. I sat for a moment, or a thousand, I can’t remember which. Like in video games, there was no time. There never was any. There were only experiences and decisions to move on to the next chapter.
I got up from the floor and made my way to the sink. I looked in the mirror as I washed my hands, the wild of my hair more voluminous than physics deemed possible. The ends of the strands still danced in invisible wind. My eyes peered through the small slits of my swollen lids – my body appeared to me equally fleshy.
I shook off my hands and lifted one of my breasts, observing the gentle curve of my ribs, the rise and fall of my plump navel beneath. Though I knew it was there, I was able to see more of the beauty Tetl had told me about.
I wrapped the towel around me, grabbed the doorknob, fumbled with the lock, and managed to make my way out. As I returned to the room, Tetl turned with a gasp, pulling me into his arms.
“I was so scared,” he said. “It felt like you were gone for an eternity.”
Neither of us knows how long it really was. By Earth’s calculations, it may have been 4 or 5 hours.
The rest of the night may have been half or twice as long. Like in the restroom, it felt like the sun was never coming back, like the night was never going to end. But also like in the restroom, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter how long it took, that I felt the need to get up seven times that night. Because I knew, had always known what all of this was about.
It’s about love.